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Sunflower (Helianthus annus)


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Sunflowers originated in subtropical areas. Modern cultivated varieties reach a height of 1.5-2.5 m with large yellow flowers (15-30cm). They grow best at 20-25�C. However selective breeding has been made the plants highly adaptable. It grows best on well-drained but moist soils with a near neutral pH. It has a wide sowing window and is generally harvested in September-October after a growing season of around 120 days. Sunflowers should be grown in rotation to reduce the risk of weed, pest and disease.
To date, sunflower oil has only been used as an edible oil due to it's higher price. But with advances in oil processing technology, in production costs can be reduced, sunflower oil could be used in the chemical industry.

20th Aug 2005 by Diane Earl

Biology, Geography, Science

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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National Education Network
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